Following a national search, C. Edward “Ed” Meadows was selected as Pensacola Junior College’s sixth president and began leading the College in June 2008. Meadows had previously served as president of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Alabama.
NASA astronaut and PJC alumnus Alan Poindexter took a specially minted, gold PJC medallion with him on a 5.3 million mile Atlantis space shuttle mission in February 2008. In June, he presented the medallion to President Meadows and College officials.
September 2008, marked the sixtieth anniversary of Pensacola Junior College. Celebratory events included cake-cutting ceremonies on each campus and an outdoor, evening concert directed by Don Snowden, longtime Music and Theatre Department Head.
In October 2008, The Corsair captured the General Excellence Award for Florida community college papers for the fifteenth time in eighteen years.
PJC’s Associate of Science degree in Nursing program received full accreditation from the National League for Nursing and Accrediting Commission in 2008.
The Practical Nursing program ranked number one out of all 1,036 programs across the nation for the period of April through September 2008 based upon a 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for practical nursing by students who recently completed the program.
In 2008, PJC partnered with the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce to open the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Downtown Center. This incubator program provides a supportive environment to new business startups for high technology and virtual entrepreneurs.
The College’s SkillsUSA student organization was chartered and began hosting the regional secondary and post-secondary skills competitions in 2008.
In November 2008, the College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to pursue the offering of baccalaureate degrees.
PJC’s nationally recognized Smart Simulation Center was designated as a Center of Educational Excellence by Laerdal Medical Corporation in December 2008. PJC was only the second community college in the country to receive this distinction.
In 2008, the District Board of Trustees revised the official College colors of green and white to green, white, and blue. The College’s mascot logo also was revised to a pirate profile designed by PJC alumnus Brett Swanson, son of Paul Swanson, longtime men’s basketball coach.
In April 2009, the Milton Center entry road was renamed Worley Boulevard in honor of Douglas Worley, the Center’s first provost.
Lady Pirate softball players christened their new field on the Pensacola Campus with double-header wins on April 22, 2009. From its beginning in 1981, the softball team had played all home games at the Milton Center.
In August 2009, the Edward M. Chadbourne Library was dedicated after a $9 million renovation and expansion. The spacious facility was named in honor of Chadbourne, a PJC alumnus, who through the Chadbourne Foundation gifted more than $1.2 million for student scholarships.
In fall 2009, photography faculty member Mark Francis was awarded the Anna Lamar Switzer Endowed Teaching Chair.
During the September 2009 investiture ceremony for President Ed Meadows, the District Board of Trustees named all previous Pensacola Junior College presidents as Presidents Emeriti: Henry L. Ashmore, T. Felton Harrison, Horace “Ed” Hartsell, Charles A. Atwell, and G. Thomas Delaino.
G.I. Jobs magazine and website named PJC as a Military Friendly College in 2009 for its benefits to veterans and active duty military.
In December 2009, the Hobbs Center for Teaching Excellence was dedicated on the Pensacola Campus. During the ceremony, Pensacola Junior College President Ed Meadows and University of West Florida President Judy Bense signed a partnership allowing UWF students to join PJC students in benefiting from the state-of-the-art facility. The Hobbs Center, created through a $1 million gift in October 2007, benefits Adult High School and Secondary Education students as well as students enrolled in college-credit classes in order to become teachers.
In January 2010, the District Board of Trustees approved the renaming of the Adult High School to the Collegiate High School to better reflect its purpose.
In Spring 2010, PJC was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. It was one of only four Florida community colleges honored with this national recognition.
WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast, won a Bronze Telly Award and a People’s Telly Award in 2010 for its original documentary, “Gulf Islands National Seashore: The Treasure of the Gulf Coast,” narrated by renowned documentarian Ken Burns.
Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach Bill Hamilton was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in May 2010. In twenty-three seasons, with twenty at PJC, Hamilton amassed 702 career wins, the most wins in the College’s history.
Astronomy professor Wayne Wooten received the National Astronomical League Award, the highest award in amateur astronomy, in June 2010.
In 2010, the College received approval from the Florida State Board of Education and from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs including a Bachelor of Applied Science in Administration and Supervision and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
On July 1, 2010, the College name officially changed from Pensacola Junior College to Pensacola State College to reflect its expanded mission.
The College broke ground in July 2010 for its $9.4 million South Santa Rosa Center which would become the first College building to be constructed as a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building.
In 2010, the Milton Center was elevated to Milton Campus status by the State Board of Education.
In January 2011, inaugural classes began for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Administration and Supervision degree programs.
The first President’s Leadership Institute was initiated in 2011 as a rigorous, year-long professional development program open to full-time College employees who were selected through a competitive process.
In March 2011, the Lady Pirates basketball team, coached by Chanda Rigby, ended a 35-1 season with thirty-four straight wins. The Lady Pirates won the FCCAA State Championship for the first time since 1985 and the Panhandle Conference Championship for the first time since 1994, and returned from the National Junior College Athletic Association finals, ranked number three in the nation. Coach Rigby was named Panhandle Conference and FCCAA Coach of the Year.
In June 2011, the Florida Heritage Site Historical Marker was unveiled honoring the original site of the College at the corner of Palafox and Cervantes streets in downtown Pensacola.
For the first time in the College’s history, bachelor’s degrees were awarded at the December 2011 graduation. The seven students receiving BAS and BSN degrees also received specially minted coins recognizing their accomplishments.
In January 2012, Pensacola State opened two new centers – the new 35,000 square-foot South Santa Rosa Center and the extensively renovated Century Center.
The Lady Pirates basketball players made history in March 2012 as the College’s first athletic team to win back-to-back FCSAA State Championships. Coached by Chanda Rigby, the team again ended the season ranked third in the nation.
In summer 2012, Pensacola State College student Camille Nettles was awarded a silver award at the national ADDY awards, becoming the first person – student or professional – in the region to be awarded a national ADDY award.
In July 2012, PSC hosted its first annual Florida Master Teacher Seminar. Thirty-two faculty representing 21 Florida College System institutions attended this unique, retreat-like seminar.
Pensacola State College received the first annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine in November 2012.
The College began 2013 by unveiling a new logo reflecting Pensacola State College’s name change and beautiful coastal area.
In April 2013, PSC hosted the largest-ever Florida SkillsUSA State Conference, drawing more than 6,500 participants.
PSC Visual Arts Professor Bill Clover received the U.S. President’s Call to Service Lifetime Achievement Award for contributing more than 7,000 hours of volunteer service to Manna Food Pantries.
PSC Performing Arts Instructor Kadisha Onalbayeva was named an International Steinway Artist and performed on the legendary Steinway & Sons Horowitz piano in the North American tour.
In September 2013, PSC celebrated its 65th anniversary as the oldest college in the area and launched a new Alumni Affairs office to better serve the College’s more than 96,000 graduates.
PSC welcomed the opening of a stunning 13,500-square-foot facility to house the PACE Center for Girls in fall 2013 – the only PACE Center in Florida located on a college campus.
In June 2014, PSC and the University of West Florida launched the PSC2UWF partnership to better facilitate students who complete an associate degree from PSC and transfer to UWF to complete a bachelor’s degree.
PSC opened the first outdoor gallery of its kind with a 15X20 foot reproduction of the Dutch masterpiece, “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” in summer 2014.
At the national ADDY awards in the summer of 2014, Pensacola State College student Libby Castellani received a gold award and student Blake Jones received a silver award.
The Lamar, Reilly, and Switzer families presented a $1 million gift for construction of the Charles W. Lamar Studio at PSC’s Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts.
Acclaimed National Geographic photographer, Steve McCurry, displayed 74 large format photographs in a first-ever, four-month solo exhibit at the Switzer Gallery.
In January 2015, PSC and the University of West Florida entered a partnership to admit select students from PSC’s Bachelor of Applied Science degree program into UWF’s Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in Administration, Health Care Administration Track.
After 18 years coaching the Lady Pirates softball team, Brenda Pena retired at the end of the 2015 season with 891 wins. She had coached the team since 1997 and held the distinction of being the first athlete signed to play for PSC’s inaugural softball team in 1981.
In June 2015, the Molly McGuire Culinary Arts Dining Room was dedicated in memory of Molly McGuire, a beloved restaurateur known for her unmatched hospitality.
Visual Arts Professor Bill Clover began his 50th year teaching at the College in August 2015. An award-winning artist, Clover was the longest serving faculty member in the history of Pensacola State.
In January 2016, PSC received approval from the Florida Board of Education to offer another baccalaureate degree program, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Cybersecurity, designed around industry and Department of Homeland Security standards.
In spring 2016, Pensacola State’s Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing program became the first in this region to earn accreditation from two national agencies, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
In summer 2016, PSC held the 35th Annual Summer Dance Workshop, drawing more than 100 students from across the nation for the week-long seminar featuring an acclaimed professional dance faculty.
At the 2016 national ADDY awards, Pensacola State College students Amber Sidner and Zach Blessing each won silver awards.
In 2016, dental hygiene faculty member Donna Mathias was awarded the Margaret Moore Nickelsen Endowed Teaching Chair.
In 2016, dental hygiene faculty member Barbara Tarwater was awarded the Mary Ekdahl Smart Endowed Teaching Chair.
In December 2016, the White House TechHire Initiative added Pensacola, with Pensacola State College leading the way, to a national program that promotes access to well-paying technology jobs.
In January 2017, Pensacola State College’s Virtual Tutoring Program was awarded the prestigious national Bellwether Award in the category of Instructional Programs and Services.
In February 2017, Visual Arts students won 52 of 94 ADDY Awards in the regional college and university competition, including 19 gold, 30 silver, and three Judges’ Choice awards. In the Professional category, Mark Hopkins, Graphic Design Instructor, won a silver award.
In February 2017, PSC president Ed Meadows was awarded the Leadership in Education Award during the Greater Pensacola Chamber’s 57th annual PACE Awards.
In November 2017, Military Times included Pensacola State College in its Military Times Best Colleges 2018 list.
In October 2017, Pensacola State and Florida State University Panama City launched Direct Connect – PSC to FSU Panama City, allowing Pensacola State students easier access to the university’s four-year bachelor’s degree program.
In fall 2017, Pensacola State was ranked as one of the best colleges – regionally and nationally – by U.S. News and World Report. Published annually, the report ranks more than 1,400 private and public colleges and universities. In the “Best Colleges 2018 Edition”, Pensacola State tied for 4th in Top Public Schools-Regional Colleges-South – the highest ranked college in Florida. Pensacola State also ranked No. 28 in overall Best Regional Colleges South. Among national colleges and universities, Pensacola State ranked No. 11 in Best Schools for Veterans and No. 147 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.
In December 2017, Pensacola State was named a 2018 Military Friendly School by Victory Media – the ninth consecutive year Pensacola State received the designated award for U.S. colleges and universities.
In January 2018, Pensacola State’s Century Mobile Welding Program was named a Top 10 finalist for the 2018 National Bellwether Awards.
In January 2018, PSC was awarded a Florida Job Growth Grant Fund Workforce Training Grant of $1.86 million from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. A collaboration with FloridaWest, the Escambia County School District, and CareerSource Escarosa, the project was intended to increase the attainment of industry-recognized credentials and degrees required to enter and advance in the workforce.
In February 2018, Pensacola State Visual Arts students won 24 gold, 50 silver and two Judges’ Choice awards during the regional college and university ADDY competition.
In February 2018, the Charles W. Lamar Studio at the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts opened with a grand celebration to thank the Lamar, Reilly, and Switzer families for their continued support of Pensacola State. Their generous donations allowed Pensacola State’s Visual Arts center to become the preeminent art gallery and institutional facility in Northwest Florida.
In 2018, Pensacola State College Athletic Director Bill Hamilton was inducted into the Florida College System Activities Association Hall of Fame. Hamilton has worked in collegiate athletics for more than 35 years. Twenty-nine of those years have been at Pensacola State where Hamilton was head baseball coach before retiring in 2010. He has served as the College’s athletic director since 1999.
In February 2018, Pensacola State College’s Veterinary Technology program received full accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technical Education and Activities.
On April 6, 2018, Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 75/Military Assistance Bill which authorized Pensacola State College to waive fees for active duty military students using tuition assistance. Florida College System institutions, including Pensacola State College, were allowed to use the U. S. Department of Defense Military Tuition Assistance program to waive any portion of fees for student activities and services, financial aid, technology, and capital improvements.
In April 2018, six Pensacola State College visual arts students earned three gold and five silver awards at the 57th Annual 4th District American Advertising Awards Gala in Orlando. Kelly Bestgen won two gold awards while Alicia Kanuck won one gold award. The two automatically advanced to the 2018 national competition.
In April and May 2018, Pensacola State College hosted the 2018 SkillsUSA Florida State Leadership and Skills Conference. The conference, along with the Worlds of Possibilities Career Expo, was held at the Pensacola Bay Center. The event attracted more than 6,000 visitors and had a $3.8 million impact on the local economy. The College also will host the state SkillsUSA conferences in 2018 and 2019.
In June 2018, Pensacola State College received notification from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges of a reaffirmation of accreditation.
In June 2018, PSC graduate Kelly Bestgen was awarded a silver medal at the national American Advertising Awards.
In summer 2018, Pensacola State College students won two gold medals and three bronze medals at the national SkillsUSA competition.
In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Education listed Pensacola State College as a best value among public four-year colleges and universities for the seventh consecutive year. Pensacola State was ranked 37th on the list of institutions cited for the lowest tuition in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency annual report.
In August 2018, the late Carl Duke, former head of Pensacola State’s Visual Arts department, bequeathed a sizable portion of his art collection to the College. More than 400 pieces were donated to Pensacola State with the stipulation the artwork be used to help visual arts students further their education. Pieces from the collection were available during the Bill Clover Memorial Auction held in October in the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts.
In August 2018, Pensacola State College announced plans to offer a Commercial Vehicle Driver program.
In August 2018, Pensacola State College received nearly $40,000 to help students pay for the cost of higher education. A majority of the scholarship dollars ─ $27,220 ─ were donated by Florida Blue, the Helios Education First Generation Scholars program, and Bank of America’s Dream Makers First Generation Scholars program.
September 10-14, 2018, Pensacola State College celebrated the 70th anniversary of its opening with activities on all of the College’s campuses and centers. September 13, 1948, was the official opening date of the College which began in the Aiken Boarding House on the corner of Palafox and Cervantes Streets with 136 students. Today, the College has grown to three campuses – Pensacola, Milton and Warrington – and three centers – Century, Downtown and South Santa Rosa. More than 100,000 graduates have earned degrees or certificates from the College and over 1 million students have been enrolled in credit or non-credit courses during the College’s history.
In September 2018, Pensacola State College student Jennifer Ojeda was selected the Florida College System Chancellor’s Clark Maxwell Scholar of the Month. The award recognizes outstanding Florida College System students who demonstrate leadership skills, academic success or commitment to community service.
In October 2018, Pensacola State College became part of Pathway USA, a collaborative program between the University of South Alabama and select community and state colleges to create a seamless transition to USA for transfer students who earn an associate’s degree. Pensacola State is the first Florida College System institution to join the program.
On October 20, 2018, Pensacola State College’s Century Center held the inaugural Century Classic at Showalter Park in Century. Former PSC and Major League Baseball players, Bill Sadler and Greg Litton, along with Escambia County District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry were special guests.
In October 2018, Pensacola State College’s Century Center started a community garden for the residents of Century and the surrounding areas.
In November 2018, ground was broken for the $13 million east wing of Pensacola State College’s new STEM building. The east wing will house the College’s cybersecurity programs and the Mathematics Lab. The total cost for the entire facility is projected to be $34 million.
In November 2018, Pensacola State College was among four Florida College System institutions recognized for innovation and excellence by FCS Chancellor Madeline Pumariega and was awarded a 2018 Chancellor’s Best Practice Award for the Virtual Tutoring Program.
In November 2018, Pensacola State College was awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). OVW’s Grant to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus Program supports initiatives to implement comprehensive, coordinated responses to violent crimes on campus through partnerships with victim services providers and justice agencies.
In December 2018, the Gulf Power Foundation pledged $150,000 to Pensacola State College to help establish training for nonprofit organizations’ professional staffs and boards. The first $30,000 donation will be used to develop Certified Fund Raising Executive courses on funding diversification, board development, grant writing, comprehensive campaigns, and donor-centered proposals and presentations.
In December 2018, Pensacola State President Ed Meadows was tapped to join the Governor-elect Ron DeSantis and Lt. Governor-elect Jeanette Nuñez Transition Advisory Committee on Education and Workforce Development.
In January 2019, painting and drawing faculty member Paula Work was awarded the Anna Lamar Switzer Endowed Teaching Chair.
In January 2019, Pensacola State College was named a 2019-2020 Military Friendly School – Bronze by Victory Media.
In January of 2019, U.S. News and World Report ranked PSC Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree #114 in the nation and #10 in Florida in the category of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
In January 2019, The Kilgore Review, the College’s literary magazine, and The Corsair, PSC’s student newspaper, won numerous awards at the Florida College System Publications Association Awards.
In February 2019, PSC students received 27 gold awards, 29 silver awards, one best-of-show award, and one Judges’ Choice award at the 2019 regional ADDY awards.